The use of Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) has been commonly designed into man-machine systems in which head-tracking contributes to the task of interest. Is this the only benefit of using HMDs? This study removes the tracking aspect from the HMD in order to isolate differences of display type (HMD vs. panel display) on user performance in a tracking task. A telerobotic vision system is used to track a two-dimensional path. It is guided remotely via a joystick while providing visual output in real-time on an HMD or panel-mounted display. User performance is measured by observing the number of errors (i.e. deviations from the path), the time spent compensating for an error, and the total trial time. An accomodation test allows us to separate the subject's ability from the subject's learning component.

The results suggest that there is no significant difference between a HMD and a monitor in two-dimensional tracking task.


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